Former President Trump on Friday acknowledged the retirement of billionaire Rupert Murdoch, the outgoing head of Fox and News Corp. — and the media tycoon who Trump has been feuding with for months as he looks to reclaim the White House in 2024.
Trump used the news to go after another political foe on the right — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“Many people are saying that, ‘You forced Rupert Murdoch into retirement!” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post 24 hours after Murdoch’s announced retirement. “I do not believe this is so, but while we’re at it, how about getting rid of “Democrat” Mitch McConnell, who gives the Radical Left Lunatics, together with his small band of automatic “yes” votes, EVERYTHING they want.”
Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP’s presidential nomination next year, and his allies have repeatedly linked Murdoch and McConnell as pillars of the so-called Republican establishment that the former president is seeking to upend, a key aspect of his populist political messaging.
It was announced Thursday that Murdoch will step down as chairman of Fox and News Corp. in November, handing the reigns to his eldest son Lachlan and assuming a new role as chairman emeritus of both companies.
Trump has routinely admonished Murdoch in recent months for what the former president says is an attempt by the media mogul’s various influential outlets to boost his Republican rivals.
In a one recent social media post, Trump called Murdoch a “globalist” who is committed to stopping him from winning the GOP nomination and the presidency next fall.
Trump skipped the first GOP debate last month, which was hosted by and broadcast on Fox, citing his large lead in most primary polls and frosty relationship with the network.
In April, Murdoch agreed to pay $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems over false claims about its software broadcast on Fox’s airwaves being promoted by Trump and his allies.
As part of that litigation, a trove of internal communication from top Fox executives, including Murdoch, was unearthed showing him criticizing Trump and throwing cold water on his claims of voter fraud.
In his note to staff on Thursday, Murdoch blasted what he referred to as “elites” of society who hold “open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class,” and signaled he intends to keep a watchful eye on the media empire he built over decades.
“We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years – I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them,” Murdoch said. “But the battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense.”
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.